Archive for September, 2011

Zombies on the Couch

September 28, 2011

I’ve been writing a fair amount this year about fear, primarily because our unresolved anxieties can be a significant obstacle to both optimal parenting as well as a buzz-kill to a life richly and fully lived.

While it’s often relatively easy to see other people’s “issues” in stark relief, it’s our own Shadows that lurk behind us as we face the sun.  Hence a tour of one of my worst, albeit absurd (at least for a “grown-up” who is also a clinical psychologist), fears…

It was a Saturday night and my parents were out (but then, at least in my mind, they were always out.  They would say otherwise, but the fact that they made me feel that way speaks, at the very least, an emotional truth—and I digress here because parenting is not a legal proceeding, but an emotional reckoning and we want our kids to feel like we enjoy them and to feel like we’re actually there, which happens to be the opposite characteristics of zombies, but now I’m getting ahead of myself).

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Peeling the Gibson (or, Why Brave Men Run in my Family)

September 21, 2011

“Gibson.”  Def.: A martini garnished with a cocktail onion.

I heard that Mel Gibson is planning a movie about Judah Maccabee, the Che Guevara of Hanukah (click for an amusing interview with Mel by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic).  I heard many Jews are outraged.  I hesitate to write about this because you don’t want to encourage bad behavior by paying attention to it.  But just as Mel can’t control himself when he gets loaded, sometimes I just can’t control my fingers at the laptop.

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EXT.  PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY/MALIBU—PERFECT SUNSET

MEL GIBSON HOLLERS at a WOMAN COP.  We only hear fragments:

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A Supernova in my Backyard

September 14, 2011

My neighbor’s tree fell down some months back.  It was as if it had just gotten tired of standing there between our houses and leaned over onto our roof, filling the kitchen window with wet pine boughs.  After the gardener cut the spent leaner into logs the view was bleak stucco.

And so we got a new tree and planted it on our side of the fence.  A Charlie Brown tree that, in honor of being not terribly expensive, is also pretty unobtrusive.  The view is of a wisp of young leaves hardly distracting the eye from a field of sad stucco.

And so I took my latest batch of compost and fed the little tree.  So far the little tree has not grown an inch, but a late summer volunteer tomato has sprung up.

Sometimes we get lost and find things we weren’t seeking.

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There is a supernova in the pinwheel galaxy right now.  The last one to occur in our celestial hood was in the 1970s.

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Shadow Work

September 7, 2011

I was in a rather good mood on the way to work after chatting with Nate about On The Road, deeply appreciating his take on “rootless soul-searching” and the “selfishness of Beats who couldn’t deal with intimate relationships.”  I opened the top of my car to see the sky.

I had dreamed of the bear the previous night—a recurring dream symbol that first leapt out of the blackness when I was four, and has shape-shifted in myriad forms and meanings over the years.  In the latest dream a mother bear challenged me, in a vacation home, where I was protecting my family—suddenly she was all teeth and claws and we were embraced in wild conflict as I awoke.  In waking I intuited that the problem was mine and not hers.  The Shadow brings us our power, and the illumination of our own dark places… unless we resist.

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